Here’s the Problem

Okay, I know, it seems like forever since I wrote anything for this devotional blog. But today I  am motivated by a constantly growing problem. It frustrates me and breaks my heart, so I can only imagine what the Savior Jesus Christ must be feeling.

What is the problem? Let’s see if you can discern it from excerpts of this news story on Fox news:

“Actress Anjelah Johnson-Reyes first shot to fame in the viral MADTv skit “Bon Qui Qui.” The former NFL cheerleader continued to make a name for herself in the world of comedy with both her stand-up and TV and movie roles.

Now the 34-year-old is starring in the faith-based film “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone.” While faith has been an important factor in Johnson-Reyes’ life since she was a teenager, it’s always something she’s kept in her personal life until now.

“I do a joke in my stand-up where I say I’m a Christian, but I’m not a Christian comedian,” Johnson-Reyes told us. “I think that’s definitely how I see my acting. I’m an actor who happens to be a Christian.”

The California-native said she has been reluctant to take roles in Christian films because she doesn’t “want to be known as a Christian actor.” But in 2014, she agreed to a small role in “Moms’ Night Out” because it was “funny and not a typical Christian film.”

So when she was approached about “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone,” Johnson-Reyes was hesitant to take the role so as not to be branded as a Christian entertainer.

“Before I read the script [for ‘Gavin Stone’], a producer reached out to me and asked if I was interested, and I said no because I didn’t want to be known as a Christian actor. And then I read the script, and I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed how authentic it felt and thought I can get on board with this.”

That’s not to say the star’s faith hasn’t played a role in her career before she delved into the world of faith-based entertainment. Johnson-Reyes said she had turned down many opportunities because they conflicted with her beliefs.

“There’s been roles that I have turned down,” she revealed. “There’s no rule book or handbook… It’s just… whatever I’m comfortable with…

“I live my life not to please my pastor or my church or fellow Christians,” she told us. “I live my life according to my own convictions and morals and core values and principles and a lot of times that’s not going to add up to other Christians.”

So here’s the problem. “…whatever I’m comfortable with…I live my life according to my own convictions and morals and core values and principles.”

Where do people who say they are followers of Christ get the audacity to believe that they get to live according to their own convictions and morals and core values and principles? Where do people who, if they are born again believers in Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit, get the arrogance it takes to say they make their decisions based on their own comfort levels and not on the direction of the Holy Spirit? Do you see the problem?

I am not going to go on, because this is the root problem of today’s so-called “Christian” community. Following Christ is not following Christ, but rather it has become nothing more than putting a spiritual justification on self-centered living.

It is time we ALL repent of such attitudes and return to the truth. Our convictions, morals, core values, and principles are clearly defined in Scripture by the God who saves us from sin and self. Let’s give Him ALL the glory for what He has done, and then let’s actually live that way.

Pastor John